The Republican National Committee has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether President Obama's reelection campaign broke campaign finance law for taping a video in the White House, The Hill's Alicia M. Cohn reports. RNC Chair Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that it appears that Obama's appeal--urging donors to enter a drawing to win lunch with the president and Vice President Joe Biden--was filmed in the Map Room. Election law forbids asking for political donations in a place of government business.
First, they said, an open process for small donors to essentially win a raffle is not the kind of fundraising prohibited under the law--and the president didn't make a direct appeal for donations, anyway. Second, they pointed to a longstanding advisory opinion from the Justice Department that differentiates between the residence portion of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave--where the aide said Obama had been filmed--and official rooms in the White House. Third, they said, Obama's approach is in keeping with the practices of his predecessors.